skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 77481 Find in a Library
Title: Juveniles and the Police - Who Is Charged Immediately and Who Is Referred to the Juvenile Bureau?
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:27-46
Author(s): S F Landau
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 20
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The decisions of police in the London metropolitan area (England) regarding whether to charge juveniles immediately or refer them to the juvenile bureau were analyzed with respect to effects of legal and nonlegal variables.
Abstract: A logit multivariate technique was used to examine police decisions regarding 1,444 juveniles in 5 divisions of the London Metropolitan Police District. The decisions were all made during the last quarter of 1978. Data were collected from the standard official registration forms used by the police for statistical purposes. Legal variables included the offense, previous referrals to the juvenile bureau, and previous convictions. Nonlegal variables were geographic area, age, sex, and ethnic group. Results showed that while the previous criminal record and type of offense played a major role in police decisionmaking, the extralegal variables of area, age, and ethnic group also had a significant effect on the decision. Blacks involved in crimes of violence, burglary, and public disorder and other offenses were treated more harshly than were their white counterparts. Thus, more research is needed, especially on the role of situational factors, such as the interaction between the juvenile and the police, because informal discussions with police officers indicated that black juveniles are usually more antagonistic toward the police than are white juveniles. Findings also add to the empirical evidence indicating that nonlegal variables affect decisionmaking in criminal justice agencies. Also, the method of analysis used in the study has potential practical value as a self-evaluative device for the police. Tables, footnotes, and 31 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): England; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police diversion; Racial discrimination
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.